Terminally ill people eventually come to peace with themselves and the outside world. They value every day, every hour, and every minute they live, because they know they will be gone soon. They treat each moment for what it is – a supreme gift from the Universe. They radiate happiness. Why don’t we all develop such an attitude, since we are all in a sense terminally ill? Aren’t we all incurably sick with the oldest known disease called Mortality?I had it all, as it seemed to me: I was deeply loved by my dear wife and adored by my sweet daughters, I also loved them so much, I was surrounded by affection from my biological family, I was successful at my job as a director of a representative office of a respectable international company, I was progressing in my aikido classes which brought me both inner peace and outer strength, and I just established my own company that gave me so much joy and took so much of my free time too… Life was great! Everything was just perfect with lots of plans to make it even more such. I was so optimistic and the fate was looking right into my eyes with a wide smile on its face.Until one day… THAT happened. My darling and beloved wife Volia, the mother of my two adorable kids, the elder sister of her younger sister, the older daughter of her parents, a third-year student of mural painting, suddenly and totally unexpectedly got a heart attack and… died.She turned 27 three weeks before that.How did that happen? How come? But… how was it possible that such a young and healthy girl simply got a myocardial infarction that left her no chance to live? These were the questions that all of us were asking. It turned out that Volia was not as healthy as she appeared to be: even though she was an advocate of the healthy lifestyle and an aqua-aerobics instructor, she had a loving but weak heart that simply didn’t stand the pressure of a four-day cleansing dietary regime followed by a 3-hour session in a hot sauna on that black Friday. However explanatory the reasons were, they didn’t change the morbid fact that my wife was gone and nothing, absolutely nothing in this world, could bring her back.Benjamin Franklin said “That which hurts, also instructs.” I also thought of Napoleon Hill’s famous words, “Every adversity, every failure, every heartache carries with it the seed of an equivalent or greater benefit.” Whereas it would be blasphemously or too early to search for benefits in a situation like this, I decided to look for the instructions. So I am keeping my eyes, ears, and other senses wide-open to see what exactly the lessons are that Her Majesty Life is teaching me. Whereas the lessons may be the most valuable in my life, the method of delivering them was quite harsh.In the meantime, while I’m figuring out what is the moral that I should take from this, I’d like to share with you my initial observations, the ones that I got during the first 40 days after Volia embraced the Eternity, with a hope that maybe, just maybe, they may help you and me while we still hang around here.1. Here and Now. I saw how rapidly the whole world could go upside down and all the plans, all the hopes, all the worries, all the resentment, all the joy, all the happiness, and all of the life could disappear in one glimpse. The supreme volatility of the future makes me value the present as never before. Appreciation of the moment is crucial to me. When I’m talking to my kids, I am giving them my whole and undivided attention, as I realize that every moment is “one and only” and in this lies its divinity.There has never been and there will never be a moment as exclusive as the one now. Understanding this leads to profound changes in my perception of reality and of what is important.In the crazy rhythm of the modern world it looks like we’ve totally lost the feeling and the joy of the Present. I feel I partially lost it. Trying to succeed in several spheres of my life, I feel I’ve been missing the thrill of Being in the Moment. And this is what I’m bringing back to my life right now.I am taking time to enjoy the celestial nature of every day. Whatever I am doing, wherever I am being, whoever I am trying myself to be, I am attempting to be in the Now – without wi-fi, a mobile phone, and a computer if I am talking to a “live” person; without chatting with other people or checking my social network notifications when I am writing an email to a friend; and without endless coffee breaks and personal phone calls when I am working on a business presentation.Now is the only time to feel the Present.2. Be Happy. I was happy, but I remember I had very little time to feel that happiness, to relish it, and to make the experience conscious. Happiness isn’t expressed in plenty of cash, fancy vacations, nice cars, and good clothes. These things do make happiness more attractive and presentable on the cyber book of faces, but they don’t make us actually happy. It’s a paradox: the lack them does make us feel truly sad – often much more than it should – but the presence of them doesn’t give us the feeling of that complete joy.No. Happiness comes from little things that make us humans: an intimate talk with our spouse; a playing time with our kids; a cup of tea with our aging parents, a good book or a movie that makes us think; a cold ice-cream on a hot summer day; a glass of draught beer together with a friend; a simple compliment from our beloved one; a good jogging in the morning forest, and progressive realization of our great goals.Happiness is a state of mind. As Leo Tolstoy put it, “If you want to be happy then… be.” I believe happiness is either a conscious decision in the present or a sweet memory from the past. We choose what it is in our life.It’s not that I haven’t enjoyed my time when we were together. On the contrary, I loved it, I loved her, and I was happy… as I see it now. But, my mind was always focused either on the future (my plans, my goals, my wishes, my desires, and then our plans and our goals and our wishes and our desires) or on the past (our issues, my perceptions, our agreements, our misunderstandings, our lives)… My mind was constantly filled up with thinking about what I’d like to have – the Future, analyzing that which I had or hadn’t gotten – the Past, but never fully and completely dedicated to that which I truly got – the Present.If you are reading these words, then you are truly blessed with one of the most incredible riches – sight. This is a significant reason to be happy about. If you doubt that, ask anyone from the 39-million totally blind inhabitants in the world.So let’s be happy. Let’s develop an “attitude of gratitude,” as Brian Tracy puts it. If you believe in the Law of Attraction as I do, then the more we are satisfied with what we have, the more satisfaction we attract into our lives. If we want to be happy – and I believe all of us want to – then let’s just be.3. Express Love. We are all different in how we show our feelings and emotions. Some of us prefer to speak them out, others keep them inside, but almost all of us don’t express them frequently enough. Once we start living with a person, however dear and loved that person is, we start taking her or him for granted.Maybe this doesn’t relate to you and you are showing your beloved ones through your deeds how incredibly blessed you are to have them in your life, but I know it refers to me. I realized this after my Volia was gone that I hadn’t been putting much effort into keeping the flame of love. Words are just one part of the whole story.More important is what we do… or don’t do. How ready are we to make a compromise in a fight for something that is important to us but is also important for our beloved one? How ready are we to make an extra effort to make her happy?I knew that my Volia loved, just simply adored, white calla flowers. Guess how often I was giving her white calla flowers? Several times per year… as I thought buying flowers was a waste of money. It would’ve been a waste of money if she were giving me these flowers, as they meant nothing to me, but to her they were absolutely beautiful… and, most importantly, they were making her happy. What I realized after Volia’s death was that flowers were the easiest and the most cost-effective way to make a girl feel special. It’s like with kids and balloons. Not so many expensive toys can make a child as truly exhilarated as a simple cartoon-hero-balloon filled with helium and bought in the park.During Volia’s funeral there were so many flowers all around her as never before in her entire life. I am sure her soul was floating there in sheer amazement at the amount and the beauty of all the white and red flowers that her family, friends, relatives, professors and classmates from the university had brought to her. She was probably thinking “Did I actually have to die in order to get so many flowers?!”It’s a good reminder that we have to appreciate and show the love to our dear ones all the time, every day.The reason is simple: there may be no tomorrow, there may be no second chance, there may be no next time.Have you been too busy lately to call your parents? Maybe you can use your chance now. Have you been too occupied with yourself and your problems to tell your darling how great she looks? Maybe now is a good time, as any other time is under question. Have you been too full with pride to acknowledge your mistake and ask your brother for forgiveness? If you doubt whether to do it now, think how you would feel if he were gone forever without saying “goodbye.”I’d prefer to learn these lessons in another way, like most of you, by just reading the article, understanding the idea, and following the advice. Unfortunately, life gave me no second chance in this game it chose to play. I have to play it as I’m participating in it on without my consent. But what I know for sure is that I will make it the best game for me and my daughters.I have magnificent plans for my future and great goals that fuel my development, but I am learning to live in the Moment. Whatever my worries for tomorrow or regrets for yesterday are, today is the best day of my life, as there will be no other Today as today.Right here, right now I have everything to be happy. I am learning to be consciously aware of this simple truth: I am happy just by being alive. Everything else is a function of my attitude.And I am learning to show my dearest ones every day how truly adored, loved, and valued they are, because I know that another chance is not guaranteed.In loving memory of Volia Tenincheva (7 February 1986 – 1 March 2013): my wife, my friend, my soulmate.